The word ‘HIStory’ brings forth images of Napoleon Bonaparte on his horse, riding valiantly into battle. It conjures images of King Moshoeshoe I standing his ground against many adversaries on top of his “growing” mountain, Thaba-Bosiu.
HIStory is a strong man, he has fought many battles and seen many years, millenniums even. But He was not alone. HIStory like many other warriors would love to have all the glory to himself. As if he alone, withstood the tests of time. As if he, was alpha and omega.
By his side, is his life partner. She, like him, has withstood many battles and she has garnered many scars along the way. she has given birth countless times and witnessed the passing of time. Her name is HERstory.
Her tale is one of pain and sacrifice. Even though her sons and daughters fill the Earth, non-ever pay homage to her. Throughout the years she has been known by many names and has gone by numerous aliases. Perhaps her favourite, as she would say, is Mother Earth.
She is every woman that has ever lived, and those yet to breathe life. In ancient Egypt her name was both Nefertiti and Cleopatra, the Ethiopians knew her as the Queen of Sheba. Here, down south, we called her Mmanthatisi, the warrior queen, and Mokhachane, our forefather, called her Mmantsopa.
In days gone by, many have praised her name and even deified her, the Indians feared her wrath as Shiva, the goddess of destruction and the GrecoRomans saw her softer side, as Venus, the god of Love.
In recent times, however, her contribution towards OURstory, as humankind, has been undermined. What is amazing about HERstory is that throughout all these years, despite our crudeness towards her, she has never forsaken us, her children.
As Harriet Tubman she not only fought against slavery but woman’s rights as well. When she refused to give up her seat for a white man, she showed the world the strength of a Woman. I believe we called her Rosa Parks then.
Recently, Julius Malema, begged her for a sign, I agree mama, show us the light. For we have forsaken you, not once, not twice, but numerous times. We failed to honour your scientific achievements as Marie Curie, and we failed to preserve your legacy as Helen Keller.
We turned around and abused you, belittled you. You? After you gave birth to us and nurtured us well into adulthood. Why is that mama? What did you ever do to deserve such treatment?
HIStory, in comparison, has always thrived. Even when he brought about World Wars due to his violent ways, even when he caused genocides in Rwanda. Recently, he has been claiming countries as his, knowing fully well, he has no right to what has never been his to begin with.
He might be your husband mama, but how do you cope with him? I could never know.
I believe it’s time we share your story mama, your pain, your achievements. I believe it’s time we see your face again mama, not as HIS wife, under HIS shadow, but as you truly are, strong, dignified, and defiant.
I miss you mama, please come back, please tell me YOUR story, please tell me again who HERstory is.
Join us on the 26th of May 2019, as we seek to unearth HERstory, bring a book by your favourite Female Author (African) and tell us what HERstory means to YOU, Yourstory…we at CafeWhat? So you know it’s good vibes, let’s talk over drinks and good music.